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Job creation lags and pushes up state's jobless rate

• BY HOWARD FISCHER, Capitol Media Services
PHOENIX — The state's jobless rate jumped three-tenths of a point last month as the number of jobs created lagged behind what normally would be expected at this time of year. New figures today from the Arizona Department of Commerce put the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate at 9.5 percent. That comes despite an additional 19,900 people working in February as compared to January. Aruna Murthy, the agency's director of economic analysis, said Arizona normally would add twice as many jobs between January and February as it did this year. The failure to produce expected employment was particularly stark in the state's two major metropolitan areas.

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